Secret NDIA business - no ABA for school students

Submitted by convenor on Fri, 21/4/2017 - 00:00

A month ago, a NDIS planner in the ACT told a mother that the NDIA had "two publically available reports that the NDIS is using to avoid funding ABA therapies in kids aged 5 and above i.e. school-aged kids".  The NDIS planner told the mother:

  1. once kids reach school, the schools are meant to fund appropriate behavioural management plans (also occupational and speech therapy),
  2. as kids after school are too tired to have therapy, then these unnamed studies state that ABA therapy is no longer effective, and
  3. the NDIS would not fund ABA for kids at school. 

Using the provisions of the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982, A4 asked the NDIA for the advice/information that it gave NDIS planners (see  

The NDIS responded with the two documents below.

The first document lists a series of 6 documents as relevant to A4's request. Five, that is all but one, of the documents are public documents available on the internet ... even though the NDIA only gave links for the first 3 documents. Documents 4 mentions ABA. Documents 4 & 5 relate to children aged 5 and above who have not entered school. The NDIA avoids funding early intervention for school students. 

Links to the five documents are:

Doc No Description URL

National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013


National Disability Insurance Scheme (Supports for Participants) Rules 2013


Operational Guidelines of the National Disability Insurance Agency


Autism Spectrum Disorder Report: Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Good Practice For Supports Provided To Preschool Children, Their Families and Carers… or…;

National Guidelines: Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention… or…;

The NDIA refused access to a 6th document, Determining and Delivering Reasonable and Necessary NDIS ECEI Intensive Capacity Building Supports - Working Draft Document, claiming "deletions are made pursuant to s 22(1)" ... and completely redacted the 6th document (see the second PDF below). 

Other than information that was already public (and is not normal included in an FoI response), the NDIA failed/refused to provide any further relevant information. By including publicly available documents, the NDIA apparently seeks to avoid having this response count as a refusal to meet the FoI request. Unfortunately, the relevant over-sight body probably allows this.

Possibly, the information given to the mother was another fabrication about behaviour supports. This seems to be a serious and growing problem in the ACT (see